From The Good Table published by Mitchell Beazley, for other recipes see valentinewarner.com
- 2 small unwaxed oranges
- 225g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 125g dark muscovado sugar
- 100g caster sugar
- 265g self-raising flour
- 4 large free-range eggs
- 100g walnut halves, roughly broken
- double cream, for serving
- 2 small oranges, skins left on, very finely sliced
- 250g caster sugar
- 50g butter, chilled, cut into small cubes
- 3 capfuls of whisky
- 6 tablespoons double cream
1. Butter a 1.7-litre pudding basin and line the base with a small circle of baking paper. Start making the butterscotch sauce. Put the caster sugar in a small frying pan over a low heat and pour over just enough cold water to cover. Heat until the sugar dissolves, swishing the contents around the pan occasionally, without stirring. Add the orange slices and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook the oranges in the sugar syrup for 6–8 minutes until just softened, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate. Reserve the syrup and slices for later. Now make the pudding. Finely grate the zest from one orange. Slice one end off each orange and place the whole fruits on a chopping board, flat-side down. Using a small, sharp knife, cut off the peel and pith all the way round. Next, cut between the membranes to release the segments. Cut each segment into three pieces and put the pieces in a sieve over a bowl to drain off excess juice.
2. Put the butter, sugars, flour, eggs and orange zest in a food processor. Blitz on the pulse setting until smooth and thick. You may need to remove the lid and push the mixture down a couple of times with a spatula. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the broken walnuts and reserved orange segments until thoroughly mixed. Drink any juice from the bowl.
3. Choose the best slices of the softened orange and arrange around the inside of the pudding basin. Spoon the batter into the prepared basin and smooth over the surface. Cover the dish with a large circle of baking paper, with a pleat in the middle to allow for expansion. Cover the paper with a circle of foil, again with a pleat. Tie both tightly in place with string. Create a handle by taking the excess string across the top of the basin and tying to the string on the other side – this will help you lift the pudding once it’s cooked.
4. Place the basin on an upturned heatproof saucer or small trivet in a large, deep saucepan and add enough just-boiled water to come halfway up the side of the basin. (Alternatively, cook in a hob-top steamer.) Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and place over a medium heat. Allow to steam in simmering water for 2 hours, adding more water if necessary.
5. Meanwhile, continue making the sauce. Return the pan with the sugar syrup to the heat and bring to the boil. Simmer, without stirring, until the sugar caramelises. It should be a deep golden-brown colour. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the chilled butter, piece by piece (the caramel will spatter furiously), whisking vigorously between additions until the sauce is thick and smooth. Gradually whisk the whisky and cream into the butterscotch mixture and return to the heat for 1–2 minutes until gently bubbling.
6. When the pudding is done, turn off the heat and carefully lift the basin from the water. Stand for 5 minutes. Reheat the sauce if necessary. Cut the string, foil and paper off the basin. Loosen the side of the pudding with a roundended knife and invert on to a deep plate. Remove the lining paper and pour over a little of the butterscotch sauce. Serve the pudding in generous wedges with more butterscotch sauce for pouring.
Photo ©Jonathan Lovekin